This statement was issued under orders from Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and signed by Assembly chair, Ahmad Jannati, and points to the divide in the regime’s leaders and the increased power struggle that followed the presidential election last month.

It says, “In recent days there have been publications regarding the Islamic state’s ‘legitimacy’ and ‘acceptance’, and mullahs’ rule (velayat) based on the people’s vote, citing the words of Imam Ali (first Imam of Shia Islam)… these remarks are in contrast and unfit in reference to our religious pillars.”

The statement is an unprecedented acknowledgement of the mullahs’ lack of “legitimacy” and “acceptability”. That the regime was forced to issue a statement like this, “shows very well the regime has not only lost all credibility and acceptance amongst the people, it has no integrity amongst clerics unaffiliated to the state and a large portion of its own forces,” according to an article published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

The statement continues, “The velayat… leading the people, and impeaching political social rulers are amongst God’s orders, and is not based on the people’s will, opinion or vote.” It acknowledges, “The unprecedented importance of the velayat and leadership of the Islamic people” as the “source of credibility for the Islamic ruling” and adds that, in the mullahs’ Islam, “there is no talk of people’s vote, demand and opinion, and of course if the people pledge allegiance (elect) with an individual other than the velayat, it will lack any credibility.”

The Assembly of Experts’ statement is believed to be the reaction of a regime engulfed in crisis, following Khamenei’s failure to engineer the recent presidential election.

President-elect Maryam Rajavi, speaking for Iranian Resistance stated after the election, “Khamenei’s heavy defeat in manipulating election is an indication of an end to the regime. Crisis at the top of the religious fascism will continue until its downfall…”

Khamenei used Jannati to clarify to the Iranian people that only the valayet is important, and that elections and votes only have value when they approve and strengthen the rule. The NCRI suspect that through this measure, Khamenei is preparing for internal purges. They add that the fact that the Assembly of Experts has acknowledged the regime’s internal rifts, added to the fact that elections are meant only to uphold and strengthen it, means that elections are only a mask for “a dictatorship that must be excluded from the international community.”